New Corvette problems


#1

According to MSN Money:

“About 800 Corvettes at dealer lots may have been built with only one of the two rear parking-brake cables in place and engaged. This would be repaired by technicians if needed, GM said.”
“Also, about 2,000 Corvettes would be held at the GM plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky because a suspect part may have been used to attach the air bag to the steering wheel, GM said.”

Only one of the two parking brake cables were installed? And this is the new design of the Crown Jewel of the company that we spent (net loss) $10 billion of taxpayers money to bail out? IMHO nothing has changed.


#2

Sounds like my kids and their chores.
’’ well I did MY part.’’
( and never bothered to notice, nor care, that his brother did not )


#3

Yeah CNN-Money had that too. Seems like kind of a no problem problem. Must be a slow news day given no 9/11, murderers set free, and Islamic terrorists under control. Not much about the falling price of oil and why and Putin’s folly. There have been lots of comments on the lack of any legitimate reporting anymore coming out of CNN, especially after they came out with their guiding principles of news reports that caused nausea with some of us.

Not to be too negative though, glad they caught it. Just trying to waste time and avoid doing any real work today.


#4

Parking brake cables not installed on one side of the car? C’mon, guys, that’s beyond pathetic.


#5

Regardless; I would love to "have to deal " with those problems. Give me one and I will gladly whine about one less cable.


#6

Nothing is going to change. In 5 or 10 years the ignition switch issue will be largely forgotten and replaced by another problem which may or may not have been whitewashed.
For the price of a new Corvette a buyer would hope that the entire car would be provided…

One time last year I flipped on the TV near the end of a show on one of the educational (?) channels and caught the tail end of a documentary on manufacturing new Camaros.
I could have sworn as the screen showed robotics moving the body/chassis into place and being checked the narrator referred to making sure “it was within .030 of an inch”.
Why not use a yardstick…


#7

I can see how this could happen. Their quality testing might not have detected the problem b/c the parking brake still worked. One side still held the car in place, so they thought everything was ok. Hopefully they’ll change the testing procedure, like to park the car on a steep incline, steep enough so that both sides must work to hold the car in place, so it verifies that both sides are working.

Problems like this are likely to become more prevalent than less – not just w/GM but with al lthe manufacturer’s – as cars become more complex and tightly packed. It becomes very difficult to economically test everything as the number of possible failure modes increase by the factorial function.


#8

I thought from reading on some of the Corvette forums that at least some cars are subject to a Quality control hold. When you have buyers harassing Chevy every minute asking “dude,where’s my car?” it’s amazing what the factory let’s go though to the customer. Supposed to be better quality than the previous generations but we’re still waiting for that.


#9

If it’s just the one side parking brake cable that’s the issue, and the recall is just for that, I’d suspect that someone did an extremely poor job of designing the workflow at the plant, and this was missed because of that, not because of any one or batch of workers–it may be they were just doing as they were trained.

Unfortunately, while I’ve not been much of a fan of Ford vehicles in the last decade or so, I would much rather buy a Ford than a GM vehicle these days. I really think their quality is rather dismal. And I grew up with GMs and my first few cars were GMs.


#10

23 years in manufacturing left me totally convinced that a production line person is very, very, very, very rarely the cause of a quality problem. Almost all problems are caused by management (an often-estimated 80%), engineering errors (include in that manufacturing engineers, design engineers, quality engineers, and other support types such as materials engineers), production control errors, and compromises in equipment maintenance. Supplier errors if tracked down usually end up being cause by one of these categories as well. More often than not, if you simply ask the production line person what went wrong he/she will openly and honestly tell you exactly what went wrong. And he/she may even have unsuccessfully tried to prevent it.

There was that one kid in the '70s on graveyard shift that smoked pot and faked his data… but that’s a very rare and sad story.


#11

Mountainbike, a long time ago back in the 80s when Subarus were using EEC controlled carburetors there were a few complaints from customers who bought new cars which on hot days would have a subtle buck or miss during acceleration. This was happening on new cars with only a few hundred miles on them. No obvious issues could be found, no codes present, etc, etc.

One day while thinking one of them through I decided to take a look at the vapor separator under the hood. This was similar to a fuel filter and had 3 fittings on it with an arrow marking the direction of fuel flow. I discovered that the fuel flow was backwards per the arrow and a look at new cars on the lot showed they were all built like this. I swapped a few lines, drove the car, voila; problem solved.
This was all due apparently to the much lesser surface area on the inside of the vapor element as compared to the outer surface area and which in turn affected fuel volume.

I let Subaru of America know about this and of course they brushed me off. What does a lowly mechanic know about engineering…
The following week they acknowledged that those separators were indeed backwards on every new car but “we don’t feel it’s a problem”.
Tell that to the people who bought the cars and the mechanics having to put up with the griping… :frowning:


#12

“The following week”, OK4450? Sounds like someone listened to you. Good for them!
I’d bet lunch for a month that the problem was not caused by the assembler(s).

The '80s was a period when the U.S. manufacturing base was still studying the Japanese techniques for preventing these problems, such as designing asymmetry into the parts making improper installation virtually impossible. And, yet, Subaru was a Japanese manufacturer. Go figure.


#13

You’re right mountainbike. The problem was not the assembly line people. It was designed like that.
The hoses that connected the separators were short, stiff, and preformed. This meant that on the cars I modified the separator looked a little odd as it would not sit in the bracket exactly straight with the hoses crossed. Function over form though…

Back in the 80s Subaru was also experiencing some shifter shaft oil leaks which if not noticed could lead to destruction of the transmission.
A co-worker came up with a fix on that and notified Subaru. He was also brushed off.

Some months later a Technical Service Bulletin was issued regarding the fix my co-worker came up with and SOA used the word “we” when referring to who came up with the idea.
My co-worker said that the least they could have done was buy him lunch if they were going to pirate the cure without giving credit… :slight_smile:

The shift shaft seal also was poor design; nothing more. A blind man could plainly see that the seal design was going to be a problem from the get-go.


#14

“Shift shaft seal”? Say that one ten times fast!

I had to make a few modifications to my '72 Vega too. And every time, a TSB came out shortly thereafter. Couldn’t fix the axles though, or the cheap and cheesy parts. The sheet metal on that car was so thin it was almost translucent. And every single part was made as cheaply as it could possibly be made.


#15

OK4450 I worked for TORO irrigation research and development for a couple of years in SoCal. Many years later a neighbor had installed a sprinkler system that refused to work. I soon discovered that the 4 valves which were embossed with a flow direction arrow were installed backward. When I worked at the Buick dealership mostly dealing with exhaust systems I frequently had to track down rattles. I became the go to guy for tracking down non exhaust system rattles when all else failed. A customer returned their brand new Skylark with a definite rattle in the engine compartment at idle and while driven. It was checked and determined not to be engine or accessary related so they gave it to me. I was at first puzzled. I went to the back lot and inspected another new Skylark which did not rattle to see if there was something different. They had about 3/8 inch diameter bracing rods for the radiator support which crossed in front of the radiator. The non rattling Skylark had a 6 inch piece of neoprene tubing where the rods crossed held in place by adhesive. My problem child was not missing the tubing it had just slid down to the bottom of the rod. There was no evidence of adhesive. I’m thinking the assembly line worker may have ran out of adhesive and just slid the tubing into place calling it good enough. After the car was sold and driven the tube vibrated loose and gravity prevailed. I parked it in the back lot, gave it a little squirt of 3M adhesive and slid the tube in place. After giving it an hour to cure I checked it. Problem solved. Once in a long while they are easy.


#16

My wife’s aunt had a 74 Vega new back in the day and I think the engine on that one was done by 10k miles. With a revised new engine she motored around with that thing for a number of years but then again, rust isn’t that big an issue here in OK and she didn’t drive that much.

It still kind of boggles the mind that problems such as mentioned with the Corvette could happen.
Suspect part attaching the airbag? I wonder what that means…

No doubt some GM mechanics will be cursing over the fact that they will get paid a pittance for warranty flat rate fixes on those problems while the union UAW people who forgot the cables still get a guaranteed check.

What’s the worst that can happen; GM will sink again? Not to worry; the Feds will cut them another blank check on the taxpayer dime…

Just a month or so ago Mary Barra was saying this…

General Motors is done cleaning house on old problems that result in recalls and now is “making sure we create defect-free vehicles as we move forward,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in an interview with CNBC on Monday.


#17

The one that boggles my mind is the missing parking brake cable. How can that possibly happen?

IMHO only through the pain of bankruptcy and reorganization would GM have changed. And they were spared that. Now it’s business as usual.


#18

The government helped out GM because it was deemed too big to fail; too many of those would loose their jobs. Those are the people who somehow forget to put brake pads on the Sonic and parking brake cable in the Corvette. The cancer is still there at GM


#19

I consider myself lucky that I can’t afford a brand new Corvette in this day and age. I need to defend the Chevy Vega though a little bit. The engines were badly designed and didn’t last long but the construction of the Vega was as good as any small vehicle of the period. Just look at any Japanese import of that era, the Ford Pinto or Plymouth Champ/Colt. I built many V8 Vega’s back in the '70’s and the cars held up well to the horsepower generated by 327’s and 350’s. I believe you get what you pay for with the glaring exception of the Yugo. You might as well just thrown your money in the gutter.


#20

“The one that boggles my mind is the missing parking brake cable. How can that possibly happen?”

I dunno, maybe Just in Time inventory management. Truck is late, plant shuts down or just keep going and add the part later.